Fraud-accused former MEC gets bail

The Polokwane Magistrates’ Court has granted former Limpopo Health MEC Miriam Segabutla and her two co-accused R25 000 bail each.

Segabutla and her two co-accused, Johnny Lucas and Pieter Erasmus, were arrested earlier today and appeared before the Polokwane Magistrates’ Court on charges of fraud and corruption.

All three accused, who live in Pretoria, say they intend to plead not guilty. The state did not oppose bail.

According to the provisional charge sheet, Segabutla’s department was looking for forensic investigators and it approached Tsepo Technology Consulting, Trispen Solutions and Real Global Business Solutions to submit proposals or quotations.

Erasmus and Lucas, reads the charge sheet, misrepresented themselves in that they were both shareholders in Tsepo Technology Consulting and Trispen Solutions but did not disclose this. Moreover, both companies shared office space, personnel and other resources.

The companies were awarded contracts by Segabutla’s department.

The investigator also detected suspicious payments from Lucas to Segabutla, who knew each other well.

“Lucas was acquainted to Segabutla prior (to) and during the time of submission of the proposals and quotations, there (are) various trails of suspect payments by the former to the latter relating to hotel accommodation, flight tickets, trips and school fees,” says the charge sheet.

Lucas allegedly made payments to or on behalf of Segabutla to the tune of R167 000.

The trio will be back in court on July 5.

Prosecutor Elijah Mamabolo said 90% of the investigations have been completed.

Statement – Public Protector Thuli Madonsela on the Segabutla investigation

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